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Daily Devotion of Proverbs 17
“Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.” Proverbs 17:1
A friend of mine has a deep appreciation for the “quietness” spoken of in Proverbs 17:1. He is a very hard worker. No dust ever settles under his feet. His fellow workers will attest to that. There are times, however, he sits back and relaxes. He drinks in peace and calm and marvels at how it soothes him. He manages the right balance between work and having a quiet time.
So many have never experienced or have long forgotten what it is like to have “peace.” They go, go, and go. Their day starts in haste, and it ends that way. The days are scheduled so that one event after another is planned and that there is no free-time. Meals, work, school, football games, movies, dance recitals, chores gobble up their time. There is no quietness for them to relax, “smell the roses,” and enjoy the life God gave them.
Because of not having spare time, there are never moments to get alone with their spouse, family, and friends. Relationships get neglected. Seldom is there ever a time to get apart with their God and learn His will, way, and direction.
“Well, we have to do all we do to have what have,” is often the explanation. Indeed, those things cannot be obtained by sitting around with your feet propped up, but are all those things really necessary? Is forfeiting time with family, yourself, and God worth the price you will pay?
The strife and turmoil created by being so busy leaves one empty and drained. One may have done many wonderful things and have obtained many of their wants, but what have their sacrifices cost them? Their children have gotten used to parents being too busy to spend time with them, so they created their own lives without their mothers and fathers. Wives left alone by always working husbands have compensated by having their own life, excluding dates and personal time with their husbands. Individuals, families, and eventually society grow apart because many self-absorbed people met their own goals and have excluded all others.
As this Proverb reminds us, It may be more enjoyable and profitable to have less (a “dry morsel”) than to have the ulcers and anxiety that often come from a jammed-packed life too busy to enjoy life.
Re-evaluate what your priorities should be. Our lives should be more about people, relationships, and devotion to God than it is about things. Enjoy quietness!
“If we have not peace within ourselves, it is in vain to seek it from outward sources.” — La Rochefoucauld
Words to Understand:
Abomination: detested; strongly hated; seen as vile
Calamities: troubles; problems
Equity: justness; fairness
Esteemed: thought highly of
Reproacheth: to blame; to rebuke
Reproof: correct a person
Whelps: young offspring, as cubs
1 ¶ Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.
2 ¶ A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.
3 ¶ The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.
4 ¶ A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.
5 ¶ Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.
6 ¶ Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.
7 ¶ Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.
8 ¶ A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.
9 ¶ He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
10 ¶ A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.
11 ¶ An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.
12 ¶ Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.
13 ¶ Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.
14 ¶ The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.
15 ¶ He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.
16 ¶ Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?
17 ¶ A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
18 ¶ A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend.
19 ¶ He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.
20 ¶ He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.
21 ¶ He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.
22 ¶ A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
23 ¶ A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.
24 ¶ Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.
25 ¶ A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.
26 ¶ Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.
27 ¶ He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.
28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.